So now our family has an advent calendar. I started this tradition to SIMPLIFY our lives. Some people may view an advent calendar as one more thing to do, but for me it's a way of making sure we do all of our special traditions with ease over the 24 days before Christmas.
The way an advent calendar works is that each day December 1-24 the kids pull a slip of paper out of the designated box that reveals the special Christmas activity that we will be doing that day. It's the first thing they ask to do bright and early every December morning. :)
Below are our advent calendar ideas for 2014. Feel free to adapt these ideas for your own family because every family's advent calendar will look a little different based on their values, traditions, children's ages, and location.
Be intentional about you celebrate Christmas! :)
Monday, December 1 – Attend “Grinch Day” at 4pm at the Woodland Mall Barnes & Noble, make green Rice Krispie Christmas wreaths, watch “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas," & receive Christmas pajamas
Tuesday, December 2 – Attend “Christmas Around the World” at Frederic Meijer Gardens & learn about and sing the carol Joy to the World
Wednesday, December 3 – Make paper snowflakes for the windows, & learn about and sing the carol Angels We Have Heard on High
Thursday, December 4 – Prepare Christmas coffee gifts for friends and neighbors & learn about and sing the carol Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
Friday, December 5 – Put on Christmas pajamas and attend “Polar Express” story time at 7pm the Woodland Mall Barnes & Noble, watch “Polar Express” movie, & learn about and sing the carol O Little Town of Bethlehem
Saturday, December 6 – Attend LifeGroup Christmas Party, go ice skating and Rosa Parks Circle, & learn about and sing the carol The First Noel
Sunday, December 7 – Read The Story of St. Nicholas & watch “Veggie Tales St. Nicholas”
Monday, December 8 – Purchase and wrap Christmas gift for Daddy & learn about and sing the carol Away in a Manger
Tuesday, December 9 – Attend “Homestead Holiday” with Friday Addition & learn about and sing the carol While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks and Silent Night! Holy Night!
Wednesday, December 10 - Prepare candy cane Christmas cards for friends
Thursday, December 11 – Decorate sugar cookies while watching while watching “A Charlie Brown Christmas” & learn about and sing the carol Once in Royal David’s City
Friday, December 12 – Welcome Uncle David & Aunt Karin, make reindeer treats while watching “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” & learn about and sing the carol How Great Our Joy!
Saturday, December 13 – Go to Frankenmeuth, attend the living nativity show at 7pm at Brookside Christian Reformed Church (3600 Kalamazoo Ave SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49508) & learn about and sing the carol God Rest You Merry Gentlemen
Sunday, December 14 – Attend Grandma Biddinger’s Christmas potluck & our church’s family Christmas program
Monday, December 15 – Act out the Christmas story with our family’s nativity set & learn about and sing the carol O Come, All Ye Faithful
Tuesday, December 16 – Purchase and wrap Christmas gift for Mommy & read Luke 1:26-38 - Birth of Jesus Foretold to Mary
Wednesday, December 17 – Eat candy canes and read J is for Jesus: The Sweetest Story Ever Told
Thursday, December 18 – Deliver Christmas treats to neighbors & read Luke 1:39-46 - Mary Visits Elizabeth
Friday, December 19 – Deliver Christmas gifts and sing Christmas carols at a nursing home, watch “The Santa Clause,” & read Matthew 1:18-25 - Birth of Jesus Foretold to Joseph
Saturday, December 20 – Have Christmas peppermint pancakes, decorate gingerbread men cookies with friends & attend Christmas concert at church
Sunday, December 21 – Make popcorn balls and attend candlelight service at church
Monday, December 22 – Make chocolate peanut butter kiss cookies, watch “A Nativity Story,” & read Luke 2:1-7 - Birth of Jesus Christ
Tuesday, December 23 – Welcome Grandpa Marley, attend “Wintertime Walk” at the Frederic Meijer Gardens, drive around the neighborhood looking at Christmas lights, & read Luke 2:8-21 - Shepherds Visit Jesus
Wednesday, December 24 – Attend Vruggink family Christmas party, make a birthday cake for Jesus, read My Birthday, Jesus’ Birthday, & read Matthew 2:1-12 - Wisemen Visit Jesus
Thursday, December 25 – Have a Merry Christmas!